russianmind's picture

The Linger Longer: Driving the Trans-Siberian

“You’re going to drive across Siberia? ... You’re kidding me, right?” This is the incredulous response by someone Chris and Simon Raven met at the very beginning of their journey and probably a sentiment echoed by interested readers, fascinated by their book.

russianmind's picture

St Petersburg to Moscow with a latte

One day this January, I took an Aeroflot flight to St Petersburg, travelled by water through western Russia and arrived in Moscow. I explored the city and deciding that once wasn’t enough, returning to rediscover the city a second time. I didn’t need a passport; I avoided the complicated and probing visa application process, yet made it across the Russian border without any hassle.

Richard Bloss's picture


Richard Bloss concludes it's all smoke and mirrors.

I'm in a philosophical mood this morning. I suppose it's a bit like sex. You're either in the mood - or you're not. I was about to say you can't actually have meaningful sex if you're not in the mood, but only a few evenings ago I was actually chased through Paddington station by a ‘lady of the night’, who had seen me walking through the adjacent Hilton and insisted I took her phone number.

I have to tell you straightaway that I am not recently accustomed to having attractive young ladies chase me anywhere and I don't know who looked the more desperate.

russianmind's picture

Aeroflot entertains the passengers

“Anonymous” sent me this sheet (so I am afraid I cannot acknowledge it personally, but if you read this: “Thanks!”).  It has several amusing mistakes and opportunities for mystification.

I particularly liked (as did Anonymous), the idea that the size of a three dimensional object can be described by a single figure. Cases must not exceed “115 cms”. At one point this is rendered “115 cms (55x40x20)”. But nothing is said about luggage that is, for example, 95x10x10, as a pairs of skis might be. Likewise a painting might be 5x70x 40. Are they allowed? I think we should be told!

Richard Bloss's picture

Russians and the Future

A girl is sitting with me at an al-fresco coffee place.  People are passing by, coming and going; going and coming. Life is fine. The world is fine. Business,  is... well,  what's that? The fact is, she is bored.  After all, she has been in London for several years and has visited every night club in London, at least twice.  What is a girl to do?  It's a difficult one.  She thinks she will move to New York.

Shock. Horror. Yes, I know.  Hard to believe. One minute we think that the Russian way of life in London is here for ever... and the next minute?

Mark HOLLINGSWORTH's picture

The Secret Russian Family History of Famous Britons

The recent migration of Russian Oligarchs, professional people and ordinary workers to London has been well-documented and written about.  But what is less well-known are the Russian family backgrounds of British celebrities, businessmen and politicians.  Mark Hollingsworth reveals the Russian ancestries of prominent Britons and the history of Russian migration to London.

russianmind's picture

The G20 and global economic challenges

An article by Vladimir Putin, published by the Mexican daily El Universal, covers the global economic issues and new challenges facing the G20.

An unprecedented crisis hit the global economy four years ago, sending visible ripples around the entire world and affecting every country to some degree.

To meet a challenge of this scale the world’s leading countries had to radically change their approach. For the first time in history, the leaders of the countries that account for almost 90 percent of global GDP showed genuine desire and ability to coordinate economic policy. Most importantly, they prevented the world from taking the dead-end road of trade wars and all-out protectionism, and began putting the international currency and financial system in order.

russianmind's picture

On the Right Side of History

Article by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov published in Huffington Post UK

Over the last year or a year and a half, the events unfolding in North Africa and the Middle East have come to the forefront of the global political agenda. They are frequently referred to as the most remarkable episode in the international life of the new 21st century. Experts have long spoken about the fragility of authoritarian regimes in Arab countries and possible social and political shocks.

However, it was difficult to predict the scale and pace with which the wave of change would sweep over the region. Alongside the manifestations of crisis in the world economy, these events have clearly proved that the process leading to the emergence of a new international system has entered a zone of turbulence.

Richard Bloss's picture

RUSSIANS and TRAVEL....to boldly go...or maybe not…

Just across the road from Baker Street tube you will see a couple of open-air fruit stalls. They are the classic tourist vision of contemporary London, with Sherlock Holmes look alikes strutting around Madame Tussauds just next door and a few "street tradesmen", who have conveniently parked their BMWs out of sight round the corner, playing the My Fair Lady part of local green grocer. It's already mid morning, and even in March, the sun is picking up. My friend looks around and then looks up at me. 

"I'd love one of those apples ", she says.

Mark HOLLINGSWORTH's picture

Russian Murder Incorporated Comes to London

When Russian banker German Gorbuntsov was shot outside his apartment in London by a contract killer, even Russians were shocked. They were not surprised by an attempted gangland killing but this was the first time that it occurred on the streets of London. Is London no longer a safe haven for Russian businessmen?